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Pygmalion Essay

September 25th, 2009 No comments

Stunning, fascinating, brilliantly modernized story of an ancient sculptor who falls in love with his artistic creation and breathes a life into her is all about Pygmalion. Nobel PirceGeorge Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion written in 1912 brought a light into many issues that were ignored and not paid attention to. Shaw successfully addressed many important issues, where some of them were prototypic and enlightening. Nevertheless Shaw is perceived as a proto-feminist with an excellent skill of mastering satire which is greatly used in Pygmalion.

For development of this paper I took a closer look at four available materials made on Pygmalion, such as the original George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion (1912), Lerner’s and Lowe’s play My Fair Lady (1959), Anthony Asquith’s drama Pygmalion (1938) and finally the George Cukor’s musical version My Fair Lady (1964).

One of the major themes of Pygmalion is the one of superficial social requirements for determining one’s social status. Shaw greatly examines the possibility of taking one’s life into his hands and transforming this poor and miserable human being into something beautiful and valuable, simply achieved by short-termed process of modifying one’s language. This puts an emphasis on the importance of language for society and its perpetual effect on our lives. In this paper I would like to discuss the importance of language and manners codex in society and its conceptual value throughout the play of Pygmalion in respect to social class system. Read more…